Just as Kainos CodeCamp has drawn to a close, I wanted to share a few thoughts with you about why we wanted to run such an initiative.
Maybe you’re a young person wondering what to do with your future? Perhaps you’re a parent wondering how your son or daughter will ever find a job in this economic climate? Maybe you’re just curious to see what this CodeCamp fuss is all about?
Let’s face it, times are tough for a lot of people. However, despite the economic climate, the IT industry is thriving, supporting new business opportunities and increased efficiency in existing businesses.
As new technology appears, we need new technologists to develop and support it. IT is now a core skill required across fields ranging from Government to Gaming, Music to Medicine. Despite this obvious demand, the IT industry is experiencing a severe shortage of qualified individuals to fill the new roles that are appearing. For further background, have a look at these articles:
- IT Skills Shortage – BBC News (25/07/2013)
- EU Commission launches ‘grand coalition’ to tackle IT shortage – BBC News (05/03/2013)
- ICT skills shortage hampers Northern Ireland companies’ expansion – BBC News (26/02/2012)
So what’s being done about it then? Well, Kainos is committed to inspiring and developing the next generation of IT talent, and Kainos CodeCamp is one way of reaching out to the young people of the UK and saying to them that we want and value their skills and abilities. We want to show them what a career in IT is really like and what role and options are available to them. We want to inspire and empower them to create – not just consume – apps on their phones, tablets and PC’s. We don’t just want them, we need them; we need you!
We have another, equally important, goal in mind with Kainos CodeCamp – to help address the gap between ICT taught in schools and ‘real life’ software development. ICT (Information Communications Technology) teaches the use of products that will create, store, manipulate or transmit information electronically in a digital form. What this typically means however is a focus on using products like word processors, graphics packages or spreadsheets to create and consume content; it does not equate to computer programming.
Whilst ICT provides useful skills to know, it doesn’t go far enough in its current form. We need young people who can understand how a computer program works and tell a computer to do useful tasks. We believe that programming should be taught in classrooms alongside ICT. We need to raise awareness of coding amongst young people, help them gain the basic skills required to start programming and how to go about learning more.
There is an impression that programming is hard. And it is. But it’s not so hard that you need to be a genius to create useful programs and apps. The skills are within the reach of most people and Kainos CodeCamp is one way to help young people understand that they can build the basic skills. We also find that most people love coding once they’ve tried it. Once you grasp the basics, a whole world of opportunities open up. Wouldn’t it be great to know how to make something for your phone, tablet or PC?
You can help us on this journey and find out some more about computer programming and what it’s like to work in IT by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or following us on Twitter via @KainosCodeCamp. We’d love to help you to start up a CodeCamp in your school, college or university. Why wait?